Friday, October 12, 2012

Meet Mags

This week, I got a new sewing machine!  Meet Mags:


I've been contemplating getting a new machine with more bells and whistles for quite some time.  Ken is an excellent machine, but he was missing a few of the features I felt I wanted as my skills improved.  So I spent the last month reading reviews of machines and figuring out exactly which features I wanted and would use.  And this is what I landed on.


Note that it also comes with pretty flowers.

This Janome has all the features I wanted, and some I didn't even know I wanted until it arrived and I started playing with it!  I was looking for the ability to adjust stitch width as well as length, "needle down" positioning, snap-on feet and more than one style of buttonhole.  But it also has a feature that automatically backstitches at the beginning and end of the row (stitch number 3), and the foot pedal is optional!


I really like the variety of what I consider to be "useful" stitches.  Many of the machines I looked at had lots of decorative stitches that I doubt I would ever use.  Here I've got just a few.  I do think that stitch number 30 is pretty cute.

Along with the machine I got myself a small selection of extra feet:  invisible zipper foot (I've been wanting this for a LONG time!), narrow rolled hem foot and blind hem foot.


These feet come from Amazon, and they're very reasonably priced and seem to be of good quality.

I also got myself the all-important walking foot, which has already been hard at work:


Working on what, you may ask?  Well, Mags and the walking foot helped me finish my quilt!  And let me tell you I am over the moon about it, even though it's far from perfect.  I think the imperfect bits just add to its charm.


Ta daaaaa!  Want to see it closer?  I thought so!


I love that texture.  I decided to do the quilting in a random plaid, which I think worked well for the design of the top.  You can see it more clearly on the plain white back:



The whole time I was working on it, I was daydreaming about the moment that I'd be able to throw it in the washer and dryer to get that crinkly "old quilt" look.  I just love that!


For binding I used some very pale yellow voile I had in my stash.  It's just what I wanted - something understated that wouldn't detract from the top.  This being my first time binding a quilt on the machine, I had a little trouble with the corners, so I tacked diagonally across them.


I now know that the generic walking foot I was trying to use with Ken was causing my all my problems.  Here's one of the lines of quilting I did with it:


The foot was causing the fabric to bunch up rather than feeding it through!  I'm glad to know it was the foot and not my own lack of skills.

Even though this style of quilt does not really work in our very modern house, I'm just in love with it and can't stop looking at it.  I've put it at the foot of the bed, where I can look up from my knitting chair and see it!





36 comments:

  1. Welcome to Mags! it looks like you had a thorough look around, I'd love to have these features (especially rounded buttonholes!). I do own the 3 feet you have purchased and they're amazing - they really do make a difference, especially the invisible zipper one!

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    1. Yes, I'm so looking forward to using the invisible zipper foot! I've gotten my zippers to be almost invisible with the regular foot, so I'm hoping this will take care of that last millimeter of space I always have!

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  2. ah! mags is a beauty! i'm sure you'll enjoy the new machine, and those snap on feet are awesome. pretty sure i have all those and more for my machine.

    i think you made the right quilting pattern choice, i really love the plaid-type stitching; it adds to the quilt without distracting from your lovely patchwork. it makes me miss the hand made quilt we used to have (that basically disintegrated after years and years of use and abuse). kind of makes me think i should eventually make a quilt of my own...

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    1. Hehehe - I've already got lots more feet stored in my Amazon cart. I don't really even know what they're all for - I just love popping them off and on!

      I'm already daydreaming about the next quilt . . . and the one after that!

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  3. Love, love, love the quilt!

    And congratulations on your new arrival ;-) She is adorable!

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  4. I want to play with Mags! Your quilt is so stunning ... I bet it'll keep you smiling (and warm) for years to come. xo

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    1. Thank you! I have been spending a fair bit of time just looking at it, LOL!

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  5. Yay for tools that work and for crinkly warm quilts!

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  6. I have to tell you that I am drooling over your quilt, I love it Gail. And crinlklie quilts? Oh yeah!
    Have a great time with Mags and I will enjoy watching all the masterpieces you create.

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  7. You went for a Janome, glad you found one you liked! I'm going to a Knitting and Stitching show next month and a long visit to the Janome stall to try out a few machines is high on my list, once I know what I want I'll start saving and looking for deals!

    The quilt and quilting are lovely, well done and I'm glad you love it! I've got another one all pinned and ready for some free motion quilting this weekend, nothing complicated but it'll be nice to give it another go!

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    1. You are a monster with the quilts! You're just knocking them out!

      I'm planning on using my 10-year-old unquilted top to practice some free-motion in the near future. It's a queen size, so it's going to be a challenge!

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  8. Your posts frequently surprise me because I think they are going one direction and then you very nonchalantly whip a whole quilt out of nowhere. I also love that you name your machines, ken is adorable. I actually have that brand of sewing machine, I inherited it from my sister at some point. It also has flowers on it and is clearly designed for children as it is very small and is a gastly shade of pastel purple. I like it though, it goes very slowly so I don't mess up as much.

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    1. Hehehe - keeping you on your toes!

      I saw that kids' machine - it's so cute! Going slowly is a good thing. I can adjust the speed pretty easily on this new machine and I started out at the slowest speed until I was comfortable with it!

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  9. Oh you lucky girl! A new bestie! And I love the quilt too. I understand making something that doesn't quite go in the house or in your wardrobe, but it's the process that is exciting.

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    1. Well, Ken and Sergio wanted a girl around ;-)

      It is the process, isn't it? I SO enjoyed making this!

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  10. Wow, it's gorgeous! I love your quilt, I want one too! And happy sewing with your new machine!

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  11. Congrats on Mags and on finishing your quilt!! I also love the old quilt look- there's nothing quite like it is there? Enjoy them both! :)

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    1. Thanks, Eileen! It's kind of ridiculous how much I love those wrinkles!

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  12. Your quilt is lovely!
    I've got a Janome a lot like yours and I LOVE it. I must really get stuck into my manual though - I think I've got that stitch you mention, and I didn't realise it was for that :)
    I must get myself a walking foot - I was thinking where I'd get one from... of course Amazon will have them!

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    1. I learned that trick from the reviews on Amazon! I didn't read the manual either, LOL!

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  13. CONGRATS ! ! !
    Congrats of the homey, snuggly quilt. It IS just the kind that beckons to ya on those rainy, gloomy Feb days
    Congrats on Mags coming to your sewing room to enable to do the job you know you can do [with the right tools]
    Congrats, Congrats ! ! !
    hugs

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  14. Oh wow! Your quilt looks amazing! And so jealous of your machine (haha). Lots of shiny cool stuff for you to play with.
    You could use stitch 27 to make a cool hem like in this threads article (I think). I really want to do that one day!
    http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/14530/3-neat-edge-finishes-for-the-sleeveless-styles-of-summer

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    1. Oooh, thanks for that link! Very cool hem!

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  15. Helloooo Mags! I see you guys having a beautiful friendship together :)

    Your quilt is gorgeous! I am so scared to start mine. I keep changing my mind on colors and placement. *Sigh* I think I am thinking too hard on it :)

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    1. I have the same trouble, which is why I found this Disappearing Nine Patch to be a good design. It's completely random, so I couldn't really overthink it too much!

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  16. Oooh! Yay new machine!! I have the mechanical version of that machine (the Magnolia 7318) and I love it (I fear technology and buttons)! Yours sounds AMAZING!

    I love the quilt! If I was you, I wouldn't be able to stop staring at it, either! It's really, really pretty!

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    1. I was convinced I wanted a mechanical machine too but this one had all the stuff I wanted! And it's not scary at all! (The flowers help.)

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  17. That is beautiful. looks like you and Mags have a long happy future ahead of you.

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  18. Yeh.. how editing.. she is gorgeous... and I'm a quilter too.. ohh exciting times ahead for you!

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    1. Yes indeed! Lots of ideas floating around in my head!

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